I finished a massive rewrite of the poker novella tonight. When asked to trim some of its 12.5K size, I removed two characters, replaced them with two others who were more pertinent to the story, and tweaked damn never every line. What did I end up with? 13,000 words. 500 more than I started with. That’s what “trimming the fat” means around my house.
And I’ve got a bad case of the post story ennui tonight from saying goodbye to all these kids who I just got to know. Good thing none of them died. They can come visit again.
(To be fair, all of them have places in RABBITS FOOT and GEARS, so there is a plan to see them again. And yes, RABBITS FOOT, as a prequel to INSTRUMENT, is me dodging that book, and yes, the poker story as a prequel to RABBITS FOOT is, yet again, me dodging the other . . . dodgy . . . thingie . . . Ah, world-building.)
(That would be RABBITS FOOT -> INSTRUMENT -> GEARS for those who are trying to keep track of the project creep.)